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East of Eden (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Format: DVDChange
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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
on July 25, 2010
After reading the book East of Eden from John Steinbeck, I wanted to look again at the movie (which is the last part only of the book). Was not disappointed. James Dean is very good, and it's pretty much, with a few exceptions, the same as the book. I recommend it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2005
I have enjoyed East of Eden several times over a time span of some forty years; first in black and white on a small TV and later in colour but still in small screen format. So I looked very much forward to the new DVD release in its original format.
The DVD package is certainly handsome with many welcome bonuses.
Of particular interest is a short screen test segment featuring the two brothers in an intense dramatic confrontation. This revived memories of my first viewing of this classic and made me realize that the nature of this film would have been more suited to the 4:3, black and white format of previous Kazan helmed masterpieces such as A Street Car Named Desire and On the Waterfront.
Kazan was not the only great director to experience teething problems with the recently (1954) introduced gimmick of Cinemascope. But the Studios, convinced that this was the way to woo potential audiences away from their TV sets, cajoled their leading directors to turn out major productions in this format irregardless of aesthetic suitabilities.
No director has ever surpassed Kazan in capturing intense emotional confrontations between individuals, and the focus this requires is diluted and diminished by the widescreen format. Kazan does throw in some fine panoramic vistas of the stunning filming locales, but these are only fleeting moments that are not really central to the unfolding drama. Kazan skews camera angles in an attempt to add tension, but just plain old black and white and a more confined screen space would have been more effective ways to concentrate the action.
Some viewers will probably grouse at the somewhat muted colour transfer, but this film was shot in WarnerColor (synonymous with Ansco Color) which the studios used for several years in order to shave costs. Unlike Technicolor, this was a one step colour processing that was both inferior and highly unstable. Restoring films shot in this colour format is quite a herculean achievement and they never equal the vibrancy of older films recorded in three step Technicolor.
East of Eden is still a terrific cinematic achievement, but it would have been more powerful still if it had been shot in black and white small screen.
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on November 21, 2014
good condtion
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